The rate of heart attacks, strokes or angina was 50% higher among middle-aged and elderly people with heart disease who cut back on prescribed medications because of cost than among those who did not, according to a National Institutes of Health study of 8,000 people. After controlling for risk factors for poor health outcomes, researchers found that 32% of the adults who had restricted their medications because of cost reported a significant decline in their health status during follow-up interviews, compared with 21% of adults who hadn't restricted their medications. Older individuals who restricted their medications also were more likely to be depressed, in addition to suffering declining cardiovascular health. The study found no difference in the manifestation of arthritis and diabetes. It is published in the July Medical Care, a journal of the American Public Health Association. Read an abstract. -- by Julie Piotrowski
Forgoing prescriptions bad for your heart: study
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